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Penrod Literary Qualities

This Study Guide consists of approximately 10 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Penrod.
This section contains 577 words
(approx. 2 pages at 300 words per page)
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Penrod is not a complicated novel and does not meet the criteria that critics set forth for a successful work of literature, although the novel continues to attract young adult readers. It lacks the symbolic and lyrical qualities of Huckleberry Finn, as well as the psychological urgency of J.D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye. But Penrod cannot be summarily dismissed as light entertainment for younger readers.

Tarkington, whose literary mentor was Mark Twain, wrote Penrod and its sequels in order to accurately portray the development of boys between the ages of eight and fourteen. Tarkington's theory of childhood development was that a child, in the course of becoming an adult, repeats the history of the human race from savagery to civilization. At age twelve, for example, Penrod is essentially savage but gives indications that his savagery can someday be tamed. He presents a face to the adult...

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This section contains 577 words
(approx. 2 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our Penrod Short Guide
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